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Press Release
February 5th, 2002

Media Contact: Eileen Callahan


The Real Women Project and UCSD School of Medicine will jointly host the all-day symposium titled "Real Women Redefining Real Beauty," will be held Saturday, Feb. 9, at UCSD's Price Center. The Real Women Project, based in La Jolla is a national movement to counter the effects of negative imagery on women.

The project will share tools to expand our understanding regarding the effects of images on health, self-esteem, and expectations and seeks to help women participants recognize their inherent beauty, dignity and ability to bring positive change into their lives through a series of workshops. Open to the general public with academic credits offered for medical professionals, the seminar will be hosted by nationally recognized medical experts on women's health issues.

"The Real Women Project" was created in 1998 by three women medical professionals - Cathy Conheim, a psychotherapist; Barbara Levy, M.D., gynecologist; and Donna Brooks, M.D., a retired ob-gyn physician. The three women decided to use their expertise and influence within their fields to empower women to improve their health and well being. Together, with the help of expert colleagues, they founded the Real Women Project (www.realwomenproject.com)

In addition to the founders UCSD Heathcare physicians on the program planning committee include Doris Howell, M.D., Pediatrics; Connie Nagi, M.D., Dermatology; and Cynthia Stuenkel, M.D., Family Medicine/Geriatrics.

Held elsewhere in previous years, the program will be sponsored by and hosted by UCSD for the first time. The wide range of medical, emotional and psychological issues to be addressed include:

- How women can replace negative images in their lives
- How eating disorders relate to issues of self-esteem
- Exploring commonly accepted misperceptions about the definition of beauty

As part of its goal to explore issues of women's health and redefining belief systems about the concept of "inner beauty," the seminar also utilizes healing qualities of artwork, sculpture and music. UCSD emphasized that continuing medical education credits are available for the workshop.
At some time in our life we will all be asked to be caretakers and we will all be patients. This is a unique opportunity to bring the professional caretakers and the people they serve together with under-served populations through our scholarship opportunities. We will spend the day sharing in a transformational health program that is designed to educate and connect us all," said Conheim, Producer of the Real Women project.
The seminar carries a two-tiered cost structure: General participants, $45; health care providers and counselors requesting credit, $75. An additional $20 charge is added for registrations made after Feb. 5. Scholarships are also available.
"The Real Women Project provides a forum for professionals and members of the community to come together to learn unique tools that guide women in making healthy choices," said Rynda Gibbs, Director of UCSD's Office of Continuing Medical Education. "UCSD is committed to the improvement of women's health via research, healthcare and education."

Media members:
To arrange pre-event interview requests and on-site coverage, contact Eileen Callahan at 619-543-6163.


Event: "Real Women Redefining Real Beauty"
Date: Saturday, February 9, 2002
Time: 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Site: University of California, Price Center, La Jolla, CA,
9500 Gilman Drive, La Jolla, CA 92093-0617
Cost Before Feb. 5: Health Care Providers/Counselors Requesting Credit: $75; others, $45)
Cost After Feb. 5: Health Care Providers/ Counselors Requesting Credit: $95; others, $65)
To Register: Call UCSD Office of Continuing Education, toll-free (888) 229-6263
Website: RealWomenProject.org
Media Contact: Sunniva Sorby/ Real Women Project at (800) 437-0007 or (619) 298-4843


8:30 a.m.: Registration
9 p.m. - Introduction: Fable, Song, and Background/History
Expert: Cathy Conheim LCSW, Alyce Smith-Cooper RN, MA
10 a.m. - Implications for Health
Expert: Barbara Levy MD; Rose Kumar MD; Mimi Guarneri, MD
10:30 a.m. - Break: Sculptures and Exhibits
11 a.m. - Tools: Experiential Exercise: Slides, Alarming Facts, What is Eating?
Expert: Cathy Conheim, LCSW
12 noon - Lunch break
1 p.m. - Carrying the message of an epidemic of health: How do we replace negative images, and what is the clinician's role? Prescriptions for health.
Expert: Rose Kumar, MD; Barbara Levy, MD; Cathy Conheim, LCSW
2 p.m. - The Future: What "Real Women Project" can achieve - for clinicians, for your patients, for your communities.
Expert: Heather Wood Ion, MA, D.Lit
3 p.m. Experiential Exercise: Whom do we admire? What do we commit to, as clinicians, as patients, as individuals?
Expert: Cathy Conheim, LCSW
4 p.m. - Community building with participatory follow-up. What does inclusivity mean to us as professionals? What resources do we now need to address these problems? What are the consequences of not raising the issues?
Format: Panel discussion with audience.
5 p.m. - Adjourn


- To inspire dialogue and self-awareness
- To broaden the definition of beauty
- To deepen the experience of health and well-being

Basic Assumptions of Women's Health:

- Health is more than the absence of disease
- We need to know what constitutes high-level wellness
- Accumulated dis-ease in one's life sets up conditions for compromised immunity
- How we feel about ourselves impacts our emotional and physical health
- Self-esteem results from both external and internal images and self-talk
- Our feelings correspond to the words and pictures of our inner and outer worlds
- When we are respected and validated, we feel better about ourselves, make better decisions and live healthier lives

Notable Facts About Women's Health:

- Over 15 million people in American have a serious eating disorder. Over 1,000 reports deaths each year are from anorexia, with 90% to 95% of these being women
- 15% of young women in the United States who are not diagnosed with an eating disorder display substantially disordered eating attitudes and behaviors
- In the U.S., 43% of women have experienced violence at least once during their lifetime
- Battering is the major cause of injury to women in the United States
- 78% of all rapes are committed by persons known to the victim.
- Maternal/Child health outcomes in the U.S. have declined in comparison with other industrial nations over the past decade to a rank of 31.

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